This chapter discusses the history of the textile industry, particularly cotton-spinning and how the Japanese obtained the necessary technologies and skills to be able to establish and expand the industry. The textile industry was one of the first industries in Japan to adopt Western technology. The domestic production exceeded imports in the early 1980s. By the late 1890s, exports already dominated imports. Textiles were the most important Japanese exports before World War II. After the war, the textile industry lost its supremacy and imports exceeded exports. This industry was fast in adopting Western technology and it also quickly became the biggest industry in Japan. This proves that building technological capabilities was the key element to being able to grow and develop. However, the textile industry was also quick to decline and lose its domination.
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